As with my usual fall plans (no pun here), I was tracking the fall season premiere shows in national networks. We had the new series COMMANDER IN CHIEF air in tonight and it was about how a lady ends up becoming a President of the United States. She is a independent-candidate Vice President and when the current President falls into a no-backing-out ill-health, the reigns of the government falls into the hand of this lady. The speaker and rest of the big bad boys want her out, but she doesnt back off that easily..
While I was watching this, I couldnt help but think, why is a "woman-president" such a big topic here in the United States. There are a gazillion articles out on this subject. Come on, isnt this the real free world ? Isnt this a model democracy ? Isnt this where talent and skill and vision are appreciated, irrespective of who you are ? Isnt this the same country where a person born & brought up in Nazi-Austria or Communist-China end up as Governor ? So what is the big deal with a 'woman-president' ? Africa - yes, but in America ??
On the contrary, a woman head isnt such a big deal in rest of the world, even in the so-called conservative world. There have been women heads of state, prime ministers in India, UK, Haiti, Bermuda, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Israel, Argentina, Lithuania, New Zealand, Bangladesh and in several other countries, even Rwanda !.. Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Srimavo Bhandaranaike, Golda Meir, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Aung San Su-Kyi, Benazir Bhutto, Sheikh Hasina, Corazon Aquino - a sample of very strong women who have run some of the very tough governments of this century - fairly well - and atleast no bad than that of any of their male contemporaries. While women are associated by default with the word 'indecisive', many of these women seem to be otherwise. They have had iron hands.
So why is this such a taboo in the United States ? This is so much a taboo that even when novels, TV series etc., bring this topic, the women ends up becoming a president not by winning an election directly, but because she is the VP when the President has a heart attack. The current Commander in Chief or Jeffrey Archer's memorable The Prodigal Daughter are samples of this. Why this act ? And they should stop this nonsense of having a women-president's husband to be the first-lady-husband or whatever that is. It is hopelessly embarrassing and makes look the White House staff to be a bunch of jokers. If you cant digest a women in the top-post it is okay, but you dont have to mock yourselves acting as if you would accept such a scenario.
Now is the time when we are seeing two very powerful women in the United States possibly set to clash for becoming the leader of the free world. There is the distinct possibility that Hillary Clinton and Condeleezza Rice will hopefully face each other in 2008 or 2012. (campaign sites: Rice for president and Hillary for president)It will be a good to watch show, and maybe, just maybe, the United States will shed its hyprocrisy on this subject for once.
One of the character in the TV series says - "If Moses were a woman leading the slaves from Egypt, she would have stopped and asked for directions and they would have reached Israel by afternoon". The women leaders have indeed impressed us and governed with conviction, atleast most of them. As Jack Nicholson says in "A Few Good Men", 'There is nothing sexier than waking up to a woman you have to salute in the morning. Promote 'em all, that's what I say'.